Don't Forget to 'Spring Forward'

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - This weekend will be one hour shorter than usual, thanks to daylight saving time.

The time saving ritual begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, meaning it's time to turn clocks ahead by one hour.

The time change means California will shift into the same hour as Phoenix and Tucson, which do not switch to daylight saving time along with the rest of the Mountain Time Zone. Hawaii also stays on its standard time, meaning the islands will be three hours earlier than Los Angeles for the next half year, instead of two hours.

As usual, firefighters urged people to use the time change as a reminder to check smoke alarms and replace the batteries if necessary. It is also a good time to reset timers on outdoor lights and lawn sprinkler systems.

Fire officials offered the following tips on handling and maintaining smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors:

-- Install smoke detectors on all floors of your home or apartment.

-- If the devices are hardwired into your electrical system, be sure to have a backup battery-operated smoke detector in case of a power outage.

-- Mount alarms high on walls, at least four to 12 inches from the ceiling.

-- Never paint over a smoke detector.

-- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove lint or dust.

-- Test the smoke detectors regularly. If the smoke detector ``chirps'' it is an indication of a low battery, which should be changed.

The Automobile Club of Southern California also warned drivers to be on the lookout for school children and other pedestrians, since it will be dark for an hour longer in the mornings.

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